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OPEC/Non-OPEC to Meet; NZ and German Elections in Focus

September 22, 2017 Oil N' Gold 0

Crude oil prices climbed higher modestly as traders await the OPEC/non-OPEC meeting today. The front-month WTI crude oil contract added +0.28% and settled at 50.55 while the Brent contract was up +0.25% and settled at 56.43. Precious metals were pressu…

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India Stack and Bitcoin (An Insider’s View)

September 22, 2017 Capitalist Exploits 0

By Chris at www.CapitalistExploits.at

Before the good stuff… the fun stuff.

Here’s a fan mail I received in response to this.

I guess he/she never made it as far as this part:

“Don’t get me wrong. I’m not against EVs, and I’m all for technological innovation.”

Though, in all fairness, it may be the collagen talking. Either way, definitely not an Insider member, otherwise he/she/it would be well aware of where we’re actually invested. Ha!

Dregs from the bottom of the barrel occasionally drift into my corner of cyberspace. That they respond like this must be due to this fascinating misconception that I give a damn.

Still, if we poke them hard enough in the chest, they’ll bugger off leaving us with the fine specimens that make up the overwhelming majority of our distinguished readership. Which brings me neatly to:

“Hi Chris,

 

I’m not sure if this gets to you or is stuck in the admin box.

 

Love your work, really enjoy it.

 

Your current one on the knock off effects of banning gasoline and diesel cars made me want to bring up another point that is seldom discussed when people talk about the future of EVs… the profitability of refineries when they don’t have a market for gasoline.

 

When a barrel of crude is refined, about half of its volume ends up as gasoline.  The other half ends up as diesel, jet fuel, bunker oil, chemical feedstocks, etc… Gasoline is great for running automobiles, but pretty lousy for any other industrial process.  Industrial processes such as mining, refining, transporting, and processing cobalt, lithium, and molybdenum into EV parts.  These processes depend on the other half of the barrel.

 

Driving away (pun intended) the demand for gasoline by mandating EVs means that refineries have half of their product become much less valuable.  I don’t have the research or know of who has done the research, but I wonder what such a move would mean for the price of diesel, jet fuel, bunker oil, chemical feedstocks, etc…?

Hope all is well, cheers!”

Fair points and worth thinking about.

For example. Do those industries taking up the “other half of a barrel” benefit? To what degree? For how long? And is the market pricing this?

All fun stuff which we spend all most of our time doing here.

Anyway, today I’ve got something special for you and it’s got nothing to do with EVs or gasoline.

Bitcoin and India Stack

It was Raoul Pal who first brought to my attention the incredible galactic sized project that is India Stack.

I’ve since spoken with quite a variety of people both in India and out in order to better understand the dynamics of what’s taking place in India. I think it provides a fascinating and illuminating view into how certain problems can be dealt with.

In particular (and I’ve not seen anyone mention this), the ability to recapitalise a banking system on the brink and to do so while transitioning over a billion citizens onto a digital system.

Pre-cash elimination, India’s banks were in a shocking state. What better way to “fix” them than to get the poor to bail them out.

Ever since man began forming communities, we’ve had a setup where those at the top manufacture ways and means to have those at the bottom pay for the things they want.

Kings told stories about their “divine rights”, people believed it, priests told stories about the church’s relationship with God, people believed it. And today politicians tell stories about “the greater good”… and people believe it. Some things never change.

Aside from the banking system being recapitalised…

It’s been fascinating to watch what was up until recently one of the world’s largest cash economies and where millions never even had a bank account suddenly goes digital.

So there were two steps here.

The first being the elimination of cash in the economy, and the second bringing online the digital platform otherwise known as IndiaStack, an open source platform where information is a utility.

The set of open API for developers includes:

  • The Aadhaar for authentication
  • The e-KYC documents that have been generated
  • Digital lockers
  • e-signatures (software based as against the present dongle based e-signs)
  • The Unified Payments Interface which rides on top of the National Payment Corporation of India’s Immediate Payment System.

You can check out a presentation which provides a decent overview of it here.

I’ve spoken with a lot of guys who see this as being a major boon for India’s economy, eliminating fraud, destroying swathes of bureaucracy, and bringing millions of people into the economy who previously never had access.

I don’t disagree with any of this, but what I wanted to do was to find someone who wasn’t very bullish, someone who would challenge some of these thoughts. And with that in mind, I found and spoke to Deepankar Kapoor.

Deepankar Kapoor – as you can probably infer from his name – is not only Indian but he’s also the founder of Bitcoinwiser, a well known face in the digital advertising industry in India with his most recent stint being as the Vice President & National Strategy Head at Ogilvy India.

He has 9+ years of full time recognised experience in digital business transformation of Fortune 500 brands and won many accolades throughout his career. Academically, he holds an MBA from University of Calcutta wherein he majored in Marketing [Forecasting & Econometrics], BMS from Symbiosis International University and a Diploma in Cyber Laws from the Government Law College, Mumbai. Additionally, he is a Google and Twitter Certified Professional.

You can listen to our conversation below. I apologise for the dodgy line at times – Kenyan Wi-Fi isn’t the best in the world.

And a Question for This Week

Wow Poll 21 Sep
Cast your vote here and also see what others think

– Chris

“Change is opportunity.” — Suresh Prabhu, Union Minister for Commerce

————————————–

Liked this article? Then you’ll probably like my other missives on

this topic as well. Go here to access them (free, of course).

————————————–

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Are We Really Capable Of Shooting Down North Korean Missiles?

September 22, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Authored by Daisy Luther via The Organic Prepper blog,
According to some analysts, Americans may be overly confident in our military’s ability to shoot down North Korean missiles if the country were to attempt to strike.

Maybe the reason we hav…

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Algeria: six government banks to offer islamic banking by 2018

September 22, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

On Thursday, Algeria’s Prime Minister, Ahmed Ouyahia, announced that Islamic banking and financial services are to be approved in two public government banks before the end of this year and will be approved in four other banks in 2018. This announcement came during Ouyahia’s response to the deputies of the People’s National Assembly (the first chamber of the parliament) during the ratification session of the government’s plan of action. The government’s action plan won 341 votes out of 462, the total number of deputies in the first chamber, against 64 opposed votes and 13 abstentions. Ouyahia explained that Islamic financial services (Islamic banking and instruments) will be approved in two government banks before the end of this year, without giving […]

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Florida Parents Outraged After Teacher Demands Her 5th Graders Use Gender Neutral Pronouns

September 22, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Over the past year or so, we’ve observed in amazement as one ‘institution of higher indoctrination’ (a.k.a. “university”) after another came up with replacement pronouns for politically incorrect ‘hate speech’ like ‘freshman’.  Vanderbilt even forced its teachers and administrators to wear name tags defining their pronouns just so there would be absolutely no gender confusion that might lead to a nasty “triggering” event or unnoticed “microaggression (see: Vanderbilt University Name Placards For Faculty Offices Will Now Include “Preferred Pronouns”).

Vanderbilt made nametags recently & many included a preferred pronoun section. This is real life: pic.twitter.com/LeT7BCkdmA

— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) September 6, 2016

 

But, while such things are expected from our millennial youth on progressive college campuses, parents of a 5th grade class in Tallahassee, Florida were somewhat shocked when they received a letter from “Mx. (pronounced Mix)” Bressack demanding that her students only refer to her using gender neutral terms like ‘Mx.’ instead of ‘Ms.’ and “they, them, their” instead of “he, his, she, hers.”  Per the Tallahassee Democrat:

“One thing that you should know about me is that I use gender neutral terms. My prefix is Mx. (pronounced Mix). Additionally, my pronouns are “they, them, their” instead of “he, his, she, hers”. I know it takes some practice for it to feel natural, but my experience students catch on pretty quickly. We’re not going for perfection, just making an effort! Please feel free to reach out to me or administration if you have any questions. My priority is for all of my students to be comfortable in my classroom and have a space where they can be themselves while learning.”

 

Of course, it didn’t take long for the parents of Mx. Bressack’s students to post their outrage to a Facebook group called “Tally Moms Stay Connected.” One mom bluntly asked  “is this fucking for real?” while another dad wondered whether it might makes sense to just stick to teaching math and science if your job is to be a math and science teacher.

 

Meanwhile, principal Paul Lambert assured parents that Mx. Bressack enjoyed his full support but that “teachers in our district will not be allowed to use their influence in
the classroom to advance any personal belief or political agenda.”

“We support her preference in how she’s addressed, we certainly do,” Lambert said. “I think a lot of times it might be decided that there is an agenda there, because of her preference — I can tell you her only agenda is teaching math and science at the greatest level she can.”

 

Lambert acknowledged there have been some calls to the Canopy Oaks front office regarding the letter.

 

“There has been some (contact from concerned parents), the thing that has brought good understanding is, it’s not a preference that’s being applied to anyone other than the teacher.”

 

“According to Principal Lambert, the teacher addresses students daily by using the pronouns he, she, him and her.  The teacher also uses ma’am and sir when responding to students. As a personal preference, however, the teacher simply prefers to be referred to in gender neutral terms as that of a coach,” Hanna wrote.

 

“I can assure you that teachers in our district will not be allowed to use their influence in the classroom to advance any personal belief or political agenda. At this time, I do not believe that is the case in this instance.”

So what say you…necessary step toward forming a more perfect progressive society or just complete insanity?

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Major Japanese Travel Agency Accepts Bitcoin and Offers Bitcoin-Exclusive Deals

September 22, 2017 Kevin Helms 0

One of Japan’s largest travel agencies, H.I.S., will start accepting bitcoin payments at some of its stores via Japan’s largest bitcoin exchange, Bitflyer. The company will also offer some bitcoin-exclusive tour packages to commemorate the event. Also read: Japan’s Largest Rewards Site Operator With 5 Million Users Launching Bitcoin Exchange H.I.S. & Bitflyer H.I.S. Co. Ltd […]

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Jim Rickards Warns “QT1 Will Lead To QE4”

September 22, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Authored by James Rickards via The Daily Reckoning,
There are only three members of the Board of Governors who matter: Janet Yellen, Stan Fischer and Lael Brainard. There is only one Regional Reserve Bank President who matters: Bill Dudley of New York….

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Mexico shocked by news: Girl trapped in rubble didn’t exist

September 22, 2017 rbksa 0
Author: 
GISELA SALOMON and MARIA VERZA | AP
Fri, 2017-09-22 08:00
ID: 
1506045701556416200

MEXICO CITY: Hour after excruciating hour, Mexicans were transfixed by dramatic efforts to reach a young girl thought buried in the rubble of a school destroyed by a magnitude 7.1 earthquake. She reportedly wiggled her fingers, told rescuers her name and said there were others trapped near her. Rescue workers called for tubes, pipes and other tools to reach her.
News media, officials and volunteer rescuers all repeated the story of “Frida Sofia” with a sense of urgency that made it a national drama, drawing attention away from other rescue efforts across the quake-stricken city and leaving people in Mexico and abroad glued to their television sets.
But she never existed, Mexican navy officials now say.
“We want to emphasize that we have no knowledge about the report that emerged with the name of a girl,” navy Assistant Secretary Angel Enrique Sarmiento said Thursday. “We never had any knowledge about that report, and we do not believe — we are sure — it was not a reality.”
Sarmiento said a camera lowered into the rubble of the Enrique Rebsamen school showed blood tracks where an injured person apparently dragged himself or herself, and the only person it could be — the only one still listed as missing — was a school employee. But it was just blood tracks — no fingers wiggling, no voice, no name. Several dead people have been removed from the rubble, and it could have been their fingers rescuers thought they saw move.
Twitter users quickly brought out the “Fake News” tag and complained that the widespread coverage had distracted attention from real rescue efforts where victims have been pulled victims from the rubble — something that hasn’t happened at the school in at least a day.
Viewers across the country hung on the round-the-clock coverage of the drama Wednesday from the only network that was permitted to enter. The military, which ran the rescue operation, spoke directly only to the network’s reporters inside the site.
The Associated Press and others reported about the search for the girl, based on interviews with rescue workers leaving the scene who believed it was true. The workers had been toiling through the night, and the change of rescuing the girl appeared to give them hope and purpose despite their exhaustion.
Reports about the trapped girl led to the donations of cranes, support beams and power tools at the school site — pleas for help quickly met based on the urgency of rescuing children. It was unclear if that affected other rescue operations going on simultaneously at a half dozen other sites across the city.
Despite all the technology brought to bear at the school, including thermal imaging devices, sensors, scanners and remote cameras, the mistake may have come down to a few over-enthusiastic rescuers who, one-by one, crawled into the bottom of shafts tunneled into the rubble looking for any signs of life.
“I don’t think there was bad faith involved,” security analyst Alejandro Hope said. “You want to believe there are children still alive down there.”
Rescuers interviewed by the AP late Wednesday at a barricade that blocked most journalists from reaching the site believed the story of the girl implicitly. Operating on little sleep and relying on donated food and tools, rescuers were emotionally wedded to the story, and the adrenaline it provided may have been the only thing keeping them going.
Rescue worker Raul Rodrigo Hernandez Ayala came out from the site Wednesday night and said that “the girl is alive, she has vital signs,” and that five more children had been located alive. “There is a basement where they found children.”
Despite the setback — and the diminishing hopes that anyone was left under the rubble — rescuers appeared unwilling to question the effort.
“It was a confusion,” said Alfredo Padilla, a volunteer rescuer at the school. “The important thing is there are signs of life and we are working on that.”
In retrospect, the story of “Frida Sofia,” had some suspicious points from the start.
Officials couldn’t locate any relatives of the missing girl, and no girl with that name attended the school. Rescuers said they were still separated from her by yards of rubble, but could somehow still hear her.
It could have political repercussions: Education Secretary Aurelio Nuno, often mentioned as a possible presidential candidate, had repeated the story about the girl.
Hope noted “something similar happened in 1985,” referring to the magnitude 8.0 quake that killed 9,500 people.
Media quickly reported that a 9-year-old boy had been located in the rubble days after the Sept. 19 quake 32 years ago. Rescuers mobilized in a huge effort to find the boy, but he apparently never existed.
“That generated anger against those who had spread the story,” Hope said.

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